Community Environmental Council Hosts Thought Leaders on Pressing Global Issues

Santa Barbara’s own Community Environmental Council is dedicated to not just promoting awareness of pressing environmental issues, but offering innovative solutions to them as well.  This past Wednesday November 30th, the CEC hosted their triannual breakfast and discussion with some of the planets foremost social and environmental activists.  Paul Steinberg, Director, Avego Realtime Ridesharing, and the CEC’s own Michael Chiacos, Transportation Specialist, both gave insightful talks on innovative car sharing and carpooling programs that offer alternatives for those looking to lose their vehicles in favor of more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Claude Dorias, President, Unite to Light gave an emotional talk on his company’s efforts to bring portable solar lighting to some of the most impoverished regions of Africa.  The lights (pictured below), were designed by some of the brightest minds at UCSB and have survived rigorous testing in a range of harsh conditions.  The organization is in its first year and has already distributed over 10,000 lights.  For more information and to order click here.

The final speaker of the morning, Megan Birney, CEC Renewable Energy Specialist, presented the latest brainchild of the CEC, the “Community Supported Solar” program.  The program is an innovative approach to overcoming barriers that have so far impeded the wider adoption of solar panels, especially by non-profit organizations.  Essentially, the CEC will be backing medium to large-scale solar installations in Santa Barbara (and potentially in neighboring counties) with the support of philanthropic investors, thereby side-stepping some of the larger issues associated with the construction of these arrays.

For more information on the CEC and its various programs, visit them on the web at

Be Green Packaging is a proud supporter of the CEC.